Get to know Paris´ airports

Paris is served by multiple airports. Tourists and regular business people will use most likely either of city´s two main airports, but general aviation, private planes and budget airlines have plenty of other options too. If you´re flying to or from Paris and want to get basic overview of how Paris´ airports will serve you, this piece is for you.


Charles de Gaulle airport – the main airport

Paris Charles De Gaulle airport´s terminal

Terminal in the Paris CDG airport. Photo: Kazuhisa Togo Source: Flickr (Creative Commons Licence)

Charles de Gaulle airport, also known as the Roissy airport, is not only Paris` biggest and busiest international airport. It is also Europes second busiest (after London Heathrow) and the 10th busiest airport in the worlds. When you´re flying to Paris from anywhere in the world, chances are that your flight will take you to Charles De Gaulle airport.

The airport, named after the French WW2 hero and president Charles De Gaulle, was opened in 1974. Now, 40 years later the airport serves around 60 milloin passengers every year and is globally important airline hub.


Charles de Gaulle airport is located about 20 miles northeast from the city center right on top of A1 Autoroute, a major French highway connecting Paris to the north of France. It´s a 30 minutes to 1 hour drive between airport and the city.

Näytä suurempi kartta

How to get there

Train is the fastest and cheapest way to travel between Paris and the Charles de Gaulle airport. The airport hosts a railway stations where you can take a suburban train called RER to downtown. The stations is also served by long distance trains (like the fast TGV) traveling to major French cities like Avignon, Lille and Lyon.

If you´re traveling to Paris as a tourist, your best choise is a Paris Visite Pass that you can purchase from the airport railway station. It allows you to use the RER trains, subway and the buses freely during the chosen period of time.

You can take either bus number 350 to Gare de l´est railway station or bus number 351 to Nation square in the downtown.

Taxi between the CDG airport and downtown Paris costs about 40 to 50 €
( Roughly 50-60 USD )

If you´re driving, take A1 Autoroute towards Paris. The drive should take between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on traffic.


The CDG airport has 3 Terminals, called simply Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. Terminal 2 is further divided into 7 sections: 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F and 2G.

Terminal 1, being the oldest and original terminal, has an unique satellite-layout. A central terminal building hosts all the main terminal functions, such as check-in counters and baggage claim chains. The gates are located in the ”satellites” that are accessed through tunnels leading passengers to satellites under the airport tarmac.

Terminal 3 is situated 3 kilometers (by road) from Terminal 1 and can be accessed best from the RER and TGV train station. The terminal 3 is used mainly by low-cost and charter airlines.

Terminals at the CDG airport are large and far apart from each other. They are connected by CDGVAL, an automatic and free for all-railway that offers fast and easy way to transfer between terminals.

Airlines & Destinations

Charles de gaulle is the second busiest airport in Europe and globally important airline hub. CDG serves flights to literally all corners of the world includin all European capitals and all major cities in Asia, North-America, South-America and Africa.

Biggest airline in Charles de Gaulle is Air France, the French national carrier. Other major airlines include Delta and American Airlines serving flights to cities such as New York, Atlanta, Seatle, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Dallas and more.
Also smaller low-cost airlines serve many destinations from CDG, such as XL Airways with many overseas-flights and FlyBe with flights to several cities in Europe.

For more information see the airport´s website.


Orly – the other main airport

Paris Orly Airport. Photo: Muhammad Ector Prasetyo (Flickr, Creative Commons-licenced)

Paris Orly Airport. Photo: Muhammad Ector Prasetyo (Flickr, Creative Commons-licenced)

The Paris Orly Airport, situated about 10 miles from downtown Paris, is the city´s second international airport. Orly airport was first opened in 1932 and gave way as Paris´ primary airport to Charles De Gaulle airport in the 70s. Orly airport hosts a lot of domestic routes and routes to North America, Asia, Caribbean, middle east and beyond.


Näytä suurempi kartta

Orly airport is located about 10 miles south of downtown Paris. Highway A106 leads to the airport from bigger highway A6, connecting Orly airport to the city.

How to get to Orly airport

By train: Orly airport is served by suburban RER-train (RER line B). Passengers that take the RER train must transfer between the terminal and train station by Orlyval-shuttle.

By bus: The Orly airport is served by regular Paris city buses. Lines 183, 285 and 292 take you to the inner city.

By Taxi: Taxi between the city and Orly airport costs around € 30, which is roughly 40 USD.

By a car:  If you´re driving, take the highway 106 out of the airport and continue highway A6 towards Paris.

Terminals in Orly airport

Orly airport has two terminals: South Terminal and West Terminal. Passengers can transfer between the two with a free and automatic Orlyval-shuttle.

Destinations & Airlines

The airport serves many domestic flights to all over France and routes to all over Europe. Even though CDG airport is the Paris´ biggest international airport , Orly has several routes to other continents: America, Caribbean, Asia, Middle East…

CDG is Air France´s main hub, still the French national carrier uses Orly for domestic flights and sorter-range European routes. Other airlines flying to Orly include smaller French airlines, national airlines from Europe, northern Africa, Middle East and elsewhere.


Paris Beauvais – a hub for low-cost airlines

Paris Beauvais Airport from above Photo: Google Maps

Paris Beauvais Airport from above Photo: Google Maps

Paris Beauvais airport is an airport situated some 85 kilometers north of Paris, France. Actually the airport is called Beauvais-Tille – the airport has been labeled as Paris-Beauvais by budget airlines that fly to Beauvais instead of Orly or Charles De Gaulle airport.

The airport features regular airport services in it´s 2 individual terminals. Last year, the Paris-Beaucais airport served almost 4 million passengers.


The airport is situated about 85 kilometers from Paris, next to town of Beauvais. The trip from Paris to Beauvais takes usually a little bit more than one hour.

Näytä suurempi kartta

How to get there

Train: You can find a railway station in the town of Beauvais, about 2.5 miles from the airport. You can catch a train to Gare du Nord railway station in Paris.
Bus: A shuttle bus takes passengers to Paris in about 75 minutes, You can also catch a private coach for the trip.
Taxi: You can take a cab to the city, but bear in mind that it probably costs a lot more than your low cost flight to France!
Road: Highway A16 leads towards Beauvais from the outskirts of Paris. Exit towards Beauvais, the airport is just north of the town.


Beauvais airport has 2 terminals that the low-cost airlines use for their flights to all over Europe.


Beauvais airport is used by budget airlines, such as Wizz Air and Ryanair. Destinations include many cities in northern Africa and all over Europe, most destinations being in eastern Europe.

Article Name
Paris airports
Get to know Paris´ airports: basic details of biggest airports around Paris.

Leave a Comment